Visiting the Colosseum with Kids + Facts to Learn Before!
Heading to Rome, Italy sometime soon? Or just curious about the famous Colosseum? This guide gives you a list of Colosseum facts for kids to learn before you go and visit Rome’s most famous attraction. And if you are visiting the Colosseum with kids, you will also find some helpful tips for your trip.
Colosseum – Rome, Italy
The Colosseum in Rome is one of the most visited monuments in the world. A mighty structure built by Roman Emperors in the latter half of the 1st century, this stone amphitheater has witnessed and created a lot of history. Today, a visit to Rome is considered incomplete without taking a tour of the Colosseum.
If you are visiting Rome with kids, touring the Colosseum can be the most exciting thing to do. With a shiny arena, an intriguing underground maze, and amazing views to hold their attention, the Colosseum can be an interesting way to teach your kids about ancient Rome and Romans.
Our child-friendly guide of the Colosseum will help you make the most of your family trip.
Find below the following information:
- Brief history of the Colosseum
- Interesting facts about the Colosseum
- Tips for making your visit to the Colosseum with kids interesting
- Practical information about your visit including location, cost etc.
Colosseum Facts for Kids
Find below a brief history of the mighty Colossum, and some some facts about the Colosseum for kids.
Brief History of the Colosseum
The Colosseum was commissioned by Roman Emperor Vespasian in AD 70-72 and completed in AD 80 by his son Titus. Because the Flavian dynasty built it, the monument is also referred to as the Flavian amphitheater.
The arena of the Colosseum was used to host spectacular events for the entertainment of the public. Gladiatorial combats, wild animal hunts, and staging of naval battles were pretty common. These events were gory and brutal.
After 4 centuries of regular use, the Colosseum fell into gradual disrepair. It suffered a lot of damage due to earthquakes as well. There was a time when the structure started being used as a quarry for other buildings.
A renewed interest in Roman architecture during the Renaissance period led to restoration efforts in the 18th and 19th century.
Today, the Colosseum stands tall in the middle of the old city as a poignant reminder of the purpose that it was built for. At the same time, it gives us deep insights into the Roman civilization, its people, and the society. If you wish to feel the pulse of Rome, you cannot miss visiting the Colosseum.
6 Interesting Colosseum Facts for Kids
1. The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater in the world. It is almost 50 m high (think of a 12 storey building) and can easily hold a modern day football pitch inside it!
2. This ancient amphitheater had 80 entrances and could hold up to 50,000 spectators at the same time.
3. The Colosseum is egg shaped. If you look at it from the sky, you will see a huge open egg with an arena inside.
4. It took nearly 10 years and tens of thousands of slaves to build the Colosseum.
5. Under the huge arena lies a fascinating maze of passageways, rooms, lifts, and trap doors used for special effects during gladiator fights.
6. The amphitheater got its name from huge bronze statue of Emperor Nero that stood outside the monument. It was called the Colossus of Nero.
5 Tips for making the Colosseum fun and engaging for your kids
1. The Colosseum is huge. It can take hours to see it all. Do not rush and do only as much as your kids can take in. Focus more on things that interest them rather than trying to see it all.
2. Do a little research beforehand and discuss how the Colosseum played an important role in the lives of ancient Romans with your family. A brief history on gladiator fights and the creation of special effects will inspire them to find out more.
3. Take a tour of the Hypogeum. Kids will enjoy walking through the maze of the underground channels and discovering hidden nooks and corners. Surprises always work.
4. You can get priority access to the elevators if you have kids and strollers or are obviously pregnant. Make sure you use them when needed.
5. Purchase tickets online. As you will see below, pre-buying tickets can save you a lot of time and energy.
Practical Information for your trip to the Colosseum with kids
Now for the more practical information to help you navigate your way there.
How to get to the Colosseum?
The Colosseum is located in the center of Rome at the very accessible Piazza del Colosseo. You can use the Metro Line B to get to the Colosseo station and walk a minute from there. Alternately, you can take Buses 75 or 81 or Tram Line 3.
What are the opening hours?
The monument is open to the public every day between 8:30 am – 1 hour before sunset. Before 9 am and after 3 pm are considered to be relatively peaceful times with less crowds. The Colosseum is closed on January 1, May 1, and December 25.
An ordinary admission ticket to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill is priced at €12. This ticket does not allow access into the arena, hypogeum or belvedere. You need to purchase guided tours to access these areas.
Reduced price for EU members between the age of 18-25 years for the same ticket is €2. Kids under the age of 18 years can enter for free.
You are required to make a reservation for the time you wish to enter the Colosseum. This is done free of charge at the ticket offices. If you are purchasing tickets online, you need to pay €2 as the reservation fee. Tickets are valid for two consecutive days.
Where to buy your tickets from?
You can purchase your tickets directly from the ticket offices at the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, or the Palatine Hill. Note that the counters at the Forum and the Palatine Hill have a shorter queue and buying your tickets here can save you a lot of time.
Alternately, you can purchase your tickets online at the official ticketing website of the Colosseum to get the best prices.
Should you pre-buy tickets?
Pre-buying tickets is highly recommended even if you are not travelling with kids. Colosseum queues are huge and you may be required to wait more than an hour in the sun. Additionally, you may not get the time slot of your choice which may result in more waiting.
Getting your tickets and reservations online saves you a lot of time and effort. Remember to get online reservations for the kids too. That way you will not have to wait in the purchase queue and can directly head to reserved tickets queue which isn’t that long.
Is a tour helpful?
Getting a tour is very helpful in the case of Colosseum. You are not allowed to enter the arena, hypogeum, or belvedere without tour guides. And these are the sections that are filled with the most interesting sights and information bits. Therefore, investing in a guided tour of the Colosseum makes a lot of sense. Family-friendly tours are also available.
Make sure you check out the gaze of wonder in your kids’ eyes as they glide in and out of the underground chambers or imagine animals being brought over into that arena. That gaze is priceless.
Visiting Italy with Kids?
If you are visiting Italy with the family, make sure you check out our Italy Family Travel Guide which also has a specific post on Rome with Kids and other Italian destinations that are family friendly.
We hope this Colosseum Facts for Kids post was helpful for you and that you and your family learned something new along the way. Visiting the Colosseum with kids doesn’t have to be stressful, in fact it can be very educational for you all.